Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Iran nuclear talks to extend to second, extra day

Talks in Baghdad concerning Iran's controversial nuclear programme will go into an unscheduled second day after diplomats failed to reach agreement.

Six world powers made Iran an offer if it stopped processing medium-enriched uranium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons, EU officials said.

But Iran says uranium enrichment is its non-negotiable right.

A BBC correspondent at the talks says no-one is expecting any immediate breakthrough.

Negotiators for the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany presented Iran with a package combining new and old proposals, an unnamed Western diplomat quoted by the Associated Press news agency said.

It included an offer of medical isotopes and co-operation on nuclear safety.

In exchange, Tehran would stop its 20% uranium enrichment programme as a first step, the diplomat said. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake HALMAHERA, INDONESIA - 24th May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Halmahera, Indonesia at a depth of 9.8 km (6.1 miles), the quake hit at 00:33:27 UTC Thursday 24th May 2012
The epicenter was 89 km (56 miles) NNE from Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN INDIAN-ANTARCTIC RIDGE - 23rd May 2012

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck the Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 23:19:18 UTC Wednesday 23rd May 2012
The epicenter was 1025 km (636 miles) SSW of HOBART, Tasmania, Australia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 23rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 23:15:38 UTC Wednesday 23rd May 2012
The epicenter was 87 km (54 miles) ESE of Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE COAST OF CENTRAL PERU - 23rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck near the Coast of Central Peru at a depth of 73 km (45.4 miles), the quake hit at 23:01:53 UTC Wednesday 23rd May 2012
The epicenter was 30 km (18.6 miles) SSW of Huacho, Peru
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN INDIAN-ANTARCTIC RIDGE - 23rd May 2012

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck the Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 22:59:52 UTC Wednesday 23rd May 2012
The epicenter was 1031 km (640 miles) SSW of HOBART, Tasmania, Australia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 23rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 9.8 km (6.1 miles), the quake hit at 22:00:07 UTC Wednesday 23rd May 2012
The epicenter was 538 km (334 miles) SSW from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake Bulgaria - 23rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Bulgaria at a depth of 12.1 km (7.5 miles), the quake hit at 21:59:15 UTC Wednesday 23rd May 2012
The epicenter was 22 km (13 miles) WSW of SOFIA, Bulgaria
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN ITALY - 23rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Northern Italy at a depth of 9.1 km (5.7 miles), the quake hit at 21:41:18 UTC Wednesday 23rd May 2012
The epicenter was 34 km (21 miles) North of Bologna, Italy
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 23rd May 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck the Kuril Islands at a depth of 34 km (21.1 miles), the quake hit at 20:25:58 UTC Wednesday 23rd May 2012
The epicenter was 401 km (249 miles) ENE of Kuril'sk, Kuril Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Cameron Angry At Failure To Agree Euro Crisis....But predictably they did push on European Closer Integration As the ONLY Solution Again....Yay!

A summit of European leaders has ended without clear agreement on how best to restore confidence in the euro, despite pleas from the British PM to get a grip on the crisis.

The informal dinner stretched into the night as the 27 leaders chewed on ways to boost growth.

These ranged from lending more money to small and medium businesses and redeploying structural funds to help generate youth employment.

The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said the discussions were "focused and frank" and ended with broad agrement that in order for the single currency to survive, economic and monetary union needs to be taken to "a new stage".

Jose Manuel Barroso, the head of the European Commission stressed that everyone wanted Greece to remain in the euro but warned: "We will stand by Greece while Greece stands by its commitments" to international lenders. Read More

Police ticket man for giving money to disabled man in wheelchair



A random act of kindness lands a man in trouble with police.

Last Monday, May 14th John Davis was exiting I-90 at the West 117th ramp when he saw a man in a wheelchair. The man was pale, thin and holding a sign that had a religious sentiment and also a request for help.

John thought to himself, “I think we’re all to help the less fortunate.”

The middle class family man from Elyria works hard for a living and enjoys giving back especially to people who are physically challenged.

“I have a brother that’s paralyzed,” said John, “My brother’s in that same situation and struggles.”

John reached into his wallet and grabbed a couple of bucks to give to the man. As he approached the light at the exit, he rolled the money up vertically and stretched his arm out of his window. He says, the man touched the cash and one of the dollars fell to the ground.

The man then bent over and picked it up.

Moments later as John travelled North on West 117th he says a Cleveland police officer pulled him over.

“He proceeds to tell me he’s pulling me over for littering,” said John.

John and his friends who witnessed the exchange were baffled. more

Note: It was a $500 fine. Helping one's fellow man is now a crime, apparently.

A 'devil's worm', a sneezing monkey and an orchid that only blooms at night are named in the latest top 10 list of new species

A 'devil's worm', a sneezing monkey and an orchid that only blooms at night have been named in the latest top 10 list of new species.

Chosen by scientists from 200 nominated animals and plants described for the first time last year, a venomous jellyfish, giant millipede, parasitic wasp and a blue tarantula also make the top 10.

The list is published each year by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University in the US.

It commemorates the birth on May 23 1707 of Carolus Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who devised the modern system of animal and plant classification.

A committee of international scientists made the selection based on "bizarre and unusual" traits that make certain species stand out.

Institute director Professor Quentin Wheeler said: "The top 10 is intended to bring attention to the biodiversity crisis and the unsung species explorers and museums who continue a 250-year tradition of discovering and describing the millions of kinds of plants, animals and microbes with whom we share this planet." Read More

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE - 23rd May 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at a depth of 13.9 km (8.6 miles), the quake hit at 17:50:28 UTC Wednesday 23rd May 2012
The epicenter was 1120 km (696 miles) Northeast from Natal, Brazil
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Speculation over 'killing' of Assad brother-in-law

BEIRUT — Speculation was rife on Wednesday among Syrian anti-regime activists over the alleged "killing" of President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law who is also Syria's deputy defence minister.

Assef Shawkat, former head of military intelligence, was poisoned, according to anti-regime activists. The authorities in Damascus could not be reached for comment and have not responded publicly to the claim.

According to anti-regime activists, Shawkat was being buried on Wednesday in his hometown, which they identified as Madhale, near the Mediterranean coastal city of Tartous.

Several activists quoted by Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television said black flags were flying in Madhale in mourning.

On their Syrian Revolution Facebook page, online anti-regime activists wrote that: "Assef Shawkat is being buried right now in his home town Madhale ... God curse him. He was poisoned."

They said Shawkat's body was transported to a hospital near his hometown that was emptied of patients on Tuesday evening. Read More

Barack Obama accused of risking national security over Osama bin Laden film

President Barack Obama has been accused of risking America's national security for political gain by giving Hollywood filmmakers access to secret material on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Documents released under freedom of information laws show that Mr Obama's defence department and CIA enthusiastically assisted Kathryn Bigelow, the Oscar-winning director, for her forthcoming film on the raid.

Mr Obama's administration even made available "a planner, operator and commander of SEAL Team Six", the elite Navy squad that killed bin Laden in May last year. The identities of Navy SEALS are a closely-kept secret.

The filmmakers were taken to a classified facility, whose name had to be redacted in the released documents, and were allowed to tour the CIA vaults, containing vast amounts of secret information. They were also shown the CIA's mock-up of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Read More

World powers challenge Iran to hand over enriched uranium stockpile

The world's leading powers sought to break the deadlock over Iran's nuclear ambitions on Wednesday by challenging Tehran to hand over part of its stockpile of enriched uranium in return for easing the pressure on the country's economy.

The talks in Baghdad focused on a dispute that has threatened to cause a new war in the Middle East. An international contact group consisting of the Security Council's five permanent members and Germany put forward a proposal designed as the first step towards restoring confidence in the supposedly peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme.

The country has enriched some uranium to 20 per cent purity - a vital step towards the 90 per cent needed for nuclear weapons. Iran's official explanation is that it needs this material to make fuel for a civilian research reactor in Tehran.

Baroness Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief who chairs the contact group, proposed that Iran stop producing uranium enriched to this level and hand over its existing stockpile. In return, Tehran would receive the fuel for its research reactor from other countries.

Diplomats said this idea led to a "detailed exchange" of views, but Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief negotiator, was put on the spot by the move and had not offered a concrete response. The talks are expected to continue today. Read More

European Economic Catastrophe-Double Standards

'US bears ill intentions towards Syria'

Security tightened along Syria-Turkey border

Thousands march in Montreal in rage at tuition hikes

Kucinich: US 'sanction warfare' makes real Iran war inevitable

Too Big To Cut: Germany fails own budget benchmark

'Iranians won't give up nuke program, it's matter of national pride'

Outbreak Of Anthrax In Bongo District, Three People Reported Dead‎, Ghana

Three people have died following the outbreak of anthrax in the Balungu electoral area of the Bongo District in the Upper East region.

Several animals have also died from the disease which has been in the community for the last two weeks.

The Assemblyman for the area Edward Abesiwine who disclosed this to Radio Ghana said officials from the Ministry of Agriculture are in the community to vaccinate animals against the disease.

Mr Abesiwine appealed to government and philanthropists to go to the aid of the people since some cannot afford the fee being charged for vaccination. Source

Greece Denies Eurozone Plans For Currency Exit

Eurozone officials did not recommend member countries prepare for Greece's possible departure from the single currency, the Greek government has insisted.

A statement issued by the country's government said: "The Greek finance ministry categorically denies the reports that it was requested during a Eurogroup telephone conference that eurozone members prepare plans for handling the possible exit of Greece from the eurozone."

Speaking as he arrived in Brussels for a meeting of European leaders, British Prime Minister David said: "We need a decisive plan for Greece to help get the European economies moving.

"But if we're not going to keep coming back and back to meetings like this, we also need to deal with some of the longer-term issues at the heart of running a successful single currency."

Meanwhile French president Francois Hollande is expected to flex his political muscles at the meeting, as he pushes back against austerity in the eurozone. Read More

75 trapped miners rescued alive in Zim‎babwe

A total of 75 miners were rescued Tuesday afternoon after a conveyor belt collapsed at the Mimosa platinum mine in Zvishavane.

A statement from the company said “a fire occurred at the jointly owned Mimosa operation in Zimbabwe during the night. This was caused when the conveyor belt in the main decline ignited. The fire has been contained.”

The mine owned by Implats and Aquarius Platinum said “all employees have been accounted for and no injuries have been reported. The majority of the workforce was evacuated following the incident.” Read More

Rock slides kill 9 people in northern Vietnam‎

HANOI, Vietnam — An official in northern Vietnam says rock slides have killed nine people in two separate accidents at quarrying operations.

Local official Nguyen Xuan Truong says four workers died at the scene following the first accident Monday in the northern port city of Hai Phong. Two others died in a hospital, and four workers remain hospitalized.

The cause remains unclear, but falling rocks buried workers below and crushed them, he said.

Truong says a rock slide at a nearby quarry Tuesday killed three other workers.

The quarry operations produce limestone for cement factories and construction. (AP) Source

Collapse traps 7 mine workers in southwest China

LUXI COUNTY, CHINA (BNO NEWS) -- Seven people were trapped on Monday when part of a coal mine collapsed in southwestern China, state-run media reported on Tuesday, but their conditions were not immediately known. Three mine workers have been rescued so far.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said the accident occurred on Monday afternoon when a mine shaft caved in at a coal mine in Luxi County in China's southwestern province of Yunnan. A group of ten workers were inside to inspect the mine's ventilation facilities when the accident happened.

A local government spokesman told Xinhua that the ten workers were trapped following the collapse, but rescue workers had rescued three of them by 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Among the group are the coal mine's manager, a safety inspector and eight workers, although Xinhua did not say who were rescued.

A rescue operation continued throughout Monday and Tuesday, but it is unclear whether any contact has been made with the remaining seven miners. Xinhua, which did not report the incident until late Tuesday, said the mine is owned by Yunnan Dongyan Luxi Coal Mine Industry Co., Ltd. Read More